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Gannett Preps For Consolidation; Layoffs TK

An editor at a Gannett Co. has confirmed that the company is launching a nationwide network of page production “hubs,” according to a memo obtained by Gannett Blog. Content will be paginated in Louisville, Asbury Park, Nashville, Des Moines and Phoenix. All but a handful of Gannett’s papers will be paginated out of one of these hubs; USA TODAY is exempt, as is the Detroit Free Press and a few others.

The hubs are costing the company $15 million and will take two years; the company is also moving to a standard CMS, CCI NewsGate.

According to a memo sent by Kate Marymont, VP of News for Gannett and obtained by Gannett Blog, the consolidation will not affect reporters or copy editors but that some jobs will be eliminated. “There will be a formal application process for the jobs that stay at a local site. News and HR staff will conduct interviews,” the memo reads. “A standard transitional pay package will be offered [for those laid off]. You will also be eligible for
unemployment benefits. More information will be available as we get closer to the implementation of the Design Centers. We will also provide as much advance notice as we can as we implement each Design Center.”

Last year, Gannett consolidated the copy editing functions of four New Jersey papers; earlier this year Gannett consolidated some of its advertising functions into two central locations. But it’s by no means the only newspaper company looking at these cost-containment methods: Media General earlier this year consolidated the copy editing and design functions of three of its biggest papers; the company expects all of its papers’ copy editors to be operating out of centralized hubs by the end of 2010.

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